A made-for-TV romance between an actor and his YouTube star partner has devolved right into a authorized duel — over her claims that he was violent.
TV actor and hip-hop dancer Damon Gillespie and actress and YouTuber Grace Aki met whereas working in musical theater in 2014, bonding over their love of Broadway and present tunes.
The pair, whose engagement was reported by People Magazine, married in October 2018, however by final summer season, the music was over, in response to court docket papers.
Now the 2 have traded lawsuits towards each other.
A month earlier than their July 2021 cut up was official, Aki went on her podcast, “Tell Me on a Sunday,” for an episode about domestic violence, describing her personal expertise with abuse and claiming Gillespie bodily abused and threatened her.
She referred to the actor not by title, however solely as her “husband,” calling him a “monster, abusive, narcissistic, arrogant, entitled asshole,” authorized papers present.
Gillespie, 28, responded by submitting a September lawsuit towards his ex-wife in Manhattan Supreme Court, claiming her allegations had broken his popularity and price him work. Gillespie, who starred within the 2018 NBC TV drama, “Rise,” has additionally appeared on “Inside Amy Schumer” and had a task in Netflix’s “Tiny Pretty Things.”
Gillespie’s true nature didn’t turn into clear to Aki till 2019, she mentioned in her personal Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit filed Friday.
It was not till 2019 that she “began to realize that the man she married had concealed vicious personality traits from her,” Aki mentioned in her personal Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit towards him, filed Friday.
Gillespie verbally harassed, pushed and shoved her, and at one level, deserted her alone abroad, Aki alleged within the authorized papers.
She claims he left their residence early within the pandemic, returning with out rationalization months later. She locked herself in a bed room to get away from him, in response to the go well with, and put out a cry for assist, telling buddies by way of Instagram that she feared for her security.
Gillespie allegedly noticed her messages and have become enraged, forcing her door open so exhausting it made a gap within the wall, then pulling her away from bed by her leg and threatened her, Aki charged within the litigation.
Gillespie’s lawsuit is only a continuation of his abuse, Aki alleges.
There’s even a authorized time period for it: a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, or SLAPP, in response to Aki’s lawyer, Valdi Licul. The intent of a so-called SLAPP lawsuit is to not rating a authorized victory, however relatively to intimidate and silence critics.
“His suit is baseless,” Aki’s Valdi Licul mentioned. “He wants to bring a lawsuit to shut her up.”
In his lawsuit, Gillespie denied ever being violent towards Aki, however mentioned the harm to his career has been finished.
He mentioned his publicist and agent fired him because of the unhealthy publicity he bought from her podcast and that his career has suffered. He mentioned he’s additionally been threatened by strangers on social media.
A lawyer for Gillespie declined remark.
“It is my universal practice that I do not try my cases in the press,” Gillespie’s lawyer Richard Altman advised The Post. “Everything I have to say is in the court papers. Neither I nor my client will have any comment.”
Additional reporting by Kathianne Boniello